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Disneyland in south London

Ben Stevens H P Stevens18 June 2013

As a lecturer, you know you’re off to a great start when your chosen lecture topic is dinosaurs.

Ever since fossils were first discovered in the 19th century, the public has been fascinated with these prehistoric creatures.

A painting of Crystal Palace Park

It was this public fascination that gave rise to the wonderful dinosaur sculptures that still stand in Crystal Palace Park and which Professor Joe Cain (UCL Science and Technology Studies) focused on in his hugely entertaining Lunch Hour Lecture at the Museum of London on 5 June. (more…)

The Valley of Gwangi (1969) on the Big Screen

Katherine Aitchison28 June 2012

It started with a tiny horse. The tiniest horse you’ve never seen. Probably because it died out 50 billion years ago and was actually a living fossil which pointed the way to a valley full of bloodthirsty dinosaurs ready to break out into the real world at the first sign of human intervention.

No, this wasn’t the latest breakthrough in genetic engineering; it was in fact the penultimate event in the Grant Museum’s Silly Season and the latest film to be given the “on the Big Screen” treatment.

Introduced by Dr Joe Cain (UCL Science and Technology Studies), The Valley of Gwangi is a moralistic tale of what happens when greed gets the better of us and makes us deaf to the warnings of slightly crazy, blind gypsy ladies and sends us off looking for things which shouldn’t exist. Think Jurassic Park with cowboys.

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‘The Beast from 20,000 Fathoms’ On the Big Screen

James M Heather28 March 2012

What better way to round off the end of term than with a nice movie night? How about a nice, free movie night?

I’m a recent convert to the ‘On the Big Screen’ events, but the three I’ve been to have all been fantastic. Organised by Jack Ashby from the UCL Grant Museum, and introduced by Dr. Joe Cain from UCL Science & Technology Studies, these film nights draw in a big crowd of regulars, who pack out one of the lecture theatres to enjoy some retro cinema.

This last instalment brought the 1953 Harryhausen classic ‘The Beast from 20,000 Fathoms’ to Bloomsbury.

As per usual, the ever-knowledgable Dr Cain provided an entertaining breakdown of the film to come, giving the audience pointers to look out for and generally fleshing out some details required for deeper appreciation.

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‘Under the Caribbean’ On The Big Screen, Film Night at The Grant Museum

James M Heather25 January 2012

It’s only January, and I think I’ve met my Speedo quota for the year already. I’ve not been hanging out at the Lido, but watching the latest movie aired on the Big Screen at UCL, with Dr Joe Cain and the Grant Museum of Zoology.

Cramming into a lecture theatre after hours doesn’t feel so surreal this time around, but this month’s film certainly does. Under the Caribbean (or Unternehmen Xarifa in its original German) made a splash when it aired in 1954, hooking an Oscar among other accolades, for bringing dramatic underwater footage to the silver screen for perhaps the first time.

This film follows the exploits of the handsome couple of Hans and Lotte Hass. Along with a plucky crew aboard the sturdy yacht ‘Xarifa’, the Hasses sail their way from the Caribbean to the Galapagos Islands in search of sperm whales.

All sounds well and good, except that it’s completely barmy.

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